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Body Weight Exercises Top 3

Updated on October 22, 2010

Best Body Weight Exercises

Along with weight training and using machines you can also use body weight exercises. Its a great way for overall fitness. Even if your someone who weight trains with free weights or machines these are still great. They are also good for those who don't have equipment. These exercises are simple to perform except some overweight people may need to work up to the one exercise that will be mentioned. The other two are relatively easy and you can get better at them with experience. All of these each target a different muscle group and have some variations to them. People that are overweight may want to do easier variations of these exercises first. If your someone who is already fit these exercises should be done in the more advanced stage of them.

Please understand that these are my opinion, but over the course of history these body weight exercises are the most common and effective. There may be others that are good too, but these have been used by many and have variations which make them great. Use these as a guide to your goals for overall fitness and health regardless...

Push Ups #3

One of the most common exercises that everyone knows. This exercise may seem simple and common, but its not push over when it comes to effectiveness. First of all its very healthy to stay fit and you can gain some strength too. There are 3 main variations of push ups in the standard position. There are also decline and incline push ups.

The 3 standard position push ups are as follows

Wide push ups-These have your arms spaced out farther and target your chest more and may be a bit tougher than normal shoulder width

Shoulder width or normal position push ups- These are the most common with some hand spacing in between, but not to wide or to narrow. These are probably the easiest for most people

Narrow width or Triangle Push ups- These can be quite hard if your new to these. They still work your chest muscles, but have more emphasis on the triceps muscles. These are great to add after a workout or just to do in general. You can get quite a pump from these!

You can also add some challenging elements to these push ups like having someone stand on your back.(for example a child). You could also have someone put weight plates on your back and do them to be a bit more challenging. People that are overweight should start out slow and work there way in reps and should not do advanced ones until they get more fit.

Along with basic push ups there is also incline and decline.

Incline- is when your elevated at an angle to target your chest muscles differently. Your head will be up in the air and feet will be touching the ground. (may need something to elevate your upper body)

Decline- The opposite of incline except this time your legs are elevated by something and you push up from the ground.(need something to elevate legs)

You should try and have a 45 degree angle, but its mainly on preference on what your trying to achieve in difficult such as how easy or hard

Dips #2

Dips are a great body weight exercise to use.These work your triceps muscles and give you a great pump.! There are some variations to them. For a beginner you should do the ones where you have your arms on a chair or a bench behind you and extend your legs out. The farther your legs are out the harder it will be on the triceps. Push yourself up until the triceps contract and come back down. These are mainly for beginners, but are still good for experts. As you can see Arnold Schwarzenegger is doing them, but he has his legs positioned in a way that makes it more difficult. (picture to the right)

Now the others ones involve you bringing your entire weight up. You will usually see triceps dip stations in gyms, but can also do them with chairs or other objects. You need to be elevated far off the ground and have something to place your hands on the sides of you. If your using a dip station then grasp your hands on the two side bars and raise up until your tricpeps contract and come back down(not to far though this is not needed).

Dips are an amazing exercises to work the triceps and are a great body weight exercise! These should be included in any or most training regimens. They are very beneficial and effective!

Pull Ups #1 WINNER

Pull ups are an amazing exercise to work your upper back,biceps, and lat muscles. This exercise has some variations to it to add difficult or to make easier. These may not be able to be performed by people that are overweight. These people should have someone assist them or come down on the negative slower. This will help them get better. Bringing yourself down on a pull up is easier than coming up.

There are wide grip and narrow grip pull ups. Generally when using a narrow grip you should use palms facing you(chin up). These work the biceps more, but still have an effect on your lats and upper back.

A narrow grip is usually easier to do and a wide grip is harder. Pull ups are great for overall fitness because multiple muscles are involved and your lats are a major muscle group and a powerful one. Who does not want that great V shape? Pull ups can help with that.

Pull ups are often used in basic training in the marines and other branches of the military. If you want to make a pull up more challenging you add weight. This is a great way to continue to get stronger. You could also try and do more reps every time you workout. Pull ups are definitely something that should not be ignored....


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    • DC Brownlow profile image

      DC Brownlow 

      8 years ago from Conant Gardens, Detroit Michigan

      Try the Pilats video, its great


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